Watch out for this scam

If it looks too good to be true, chances are it is

On Saturday evening, I was clicking through on, looking at apartments for rent in Dublin. One property, in particular, caught my eye and so I contacted the 'owner' via the form on the site. 
The property in question was located in Foxrock, Dublin 18 and stated that monthly rent was €900. This seemed too good to be true, but I waited for the owner to revert.
Three hours later, the following reply appeared in my inbox. 

Thank you for your interest to rent my apartment. I just read your e-mail regarding my apartment located in Foxrock, Co. Dublin. I worked in Ireland in the last 5 years and bought this apartment during my staying in Ireland.

I'm renting the place for unlimited time but right now the flat is inhabited and will be available from 24 March.
Before we go any further I would like to know more about you, like how many persons you intend to live in the place, for how long?

The flat is exactly like in the pictures, fully furnished and renovated. Also, very important, the utilities (cold/hot water, electricity,  wireless broadband Internet, digital TV, 1 parking spots, dishwasher, garbage disposal, microwave, refrigerator, washing machine, etc.) are INCLUDED in the price of 900 Euro/month. "security deposit" is also 900 Euro. And you get it back, when you decide to leave from the apartment 

You can use my furniture, or you can also use your own if you prefer. If you decide to use yours, you will have access to a very large and well ventilated storeroom, where you can put my furniture.

Now, a little bit about myself so we can get to know each other better. My name is Rarl Larsen, I was born in Sweden. I am Deputy General Manager at  ****.

The only inconvenience is that my job doesn't allow me to leave Sweden where I am now even for one single day. We just hired some new staff and I'm in charge of their training.

But this won't affect you at all. I can make arrangements to rent you the apartment from here.
If you are still interested to rent my place I will explain you how we will do this after I get more information's about you.

Looking forward to hear from you soon."

Alarm bells

This set off so many alarm bells in my head instantly. I searched for the name "Rarl Larsen" and found a thread online of other people complaining about property scams under this name. I have since spoken to and they issued the following advice.
  • Never send money to anyone without having first viewed the property and being comfortable that the property is as advertised.
  • If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Every ad has a report ad button, we encourage people to use this feature if they have suspicions about the validity of an ad. 
"People with an online account of any kind should always be very vigilant and if you have any concerns you can always report the ad to us and/or contact our support team"